Six corporators in trouble for ‘supporting’ illegal buildings

Laxman Jagtap
PCMC may issue show-cause notices to them this week

Six corporators of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) have landed themselves in trouble by what the administration perceived as their "support to illegal constructions".

PCMC administration is likely to issue them a show-cause notice this week asking as to why disqualification proceedings should not be initiated against them for violating the provisions of the BPMC Act and the directives of the Bombay High Court. The move is set to intensify the face-off between the corporators and the administration.

The six corporators were apparently present at a press meet held in the mayor's cabin by two MLAs Laxman Jagtap and Vilas Lande, associated with NCP, last week. The MLAs urged all PCMC corporators not to allow civic general body meetings to take place unless the chief minister holds a meeting with them on illegal constructions.

The six corporators, say PCMC officials, teamed up with the MLAs and spoke in unison. This, officials said, violated the provisions of the Bombay Provisional Municipal Corporation Act. "The Act clearly lays down that any corporator who supports illegal constructions is liable to face disqualification," said officials.

Apart from the violation of BPMC Act, officials said the corporators have also committed contempt of the high court. "The high court had issued directives for demolition of illegal constructions. By voicing support for illegal constructions, the corporators have committed the contempt of the high court," senior officials said.

Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi refused to reveal anything, but confirmed that the administration had taken note of the presence of the corporators. Senior officials said the administration was collecting evidence against them, including video-footage and press clippings for necessary action. "The corporators may get the notice this week," officials said.

Shatrughan Kate, one of the corporators who was present in the mayor's cabin during the incident, denied that he had anything to do with the press meet. "I was there to demand that the buildings of citizens who have paid their MSEB bills, phones bills and have proper property documents should be spared. And accordingly, the administration has announced the decision the same day," said Kate.

Other corporators including Prashant Shitole, Moreshwar Bhondve, Ajit Gavahane, Nitin Landge and Nitin Kalje who were reportedly seen at the press meet also denied the allegations.

MLA Vilas Lande said the corporators every day come to PCMC.

"It is their right to come to PCMC. We had not invited them. They walked in to inquire about the commotion that was going on. Some corporators made their own demands. Two of us held our own press conference," he said.

Appreciating the "good work" done by the civic chief, Lande said,"If other civic bodies are not taking action against illegal structures, why is the PCMC in such a hurry. We want to check whether the high court order was indeed for PCMC or for other civic bodies as well," he said, adding that PCMC chief should adopt a humanitarian view against illegal structures.

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